From this summer, direct flights from Tallinn Airport will travel to twenty-six international destinations, in twenty countries, as travel restrictions start to at least partly lift. This is still little more than half the total for summer 2019, however, when forty destinations were on the agenda.
At present, flights travel to 22 international destinations, with four more to come soon, Tallinn Airport says.
The airport's commercial manager, Eero Pärgmäe, told ERR Thursday that: "Currently, it could be said that the summer flight schedule is now relatively set in stone, i.e. tickets can be bought and the schedule is certain".
"The airlines are dealing with autumn and winter, and I think that in addition to Ryanair and NyxAir routes, there may be more routes opening in winter," he went on.
Direct flights to Rome, Zürich, Brussels are starting up in July, with Vilnius following in August, Pärgmäe said.
These join Amsterdam, Athens, Berlin, Copenhagen, Dublin, Frankfurt, Helsinki, Istanbul, Kharkiv (Ukraine), Kyiv, London, Malaga, Milan, Munich, Nice, Oslo, Paphos (Greece), Paris, Riga, Stockholm, Vienna and Warsaw, according to the airport's website.
Pärgmäe added that, while travel volumes are also beginning to recover, 2019's level is certainly some distance off – whereas around 10,000 passengers passed through Tallinn Airport daily in that year, if half that number is attained between now and year end, this would be a very good result, he said.
Estonian carrier NyxAir, which started operating the domestic Tallinn-Kuressaare (Saaremaa) route at the end of last year, is also competing with Finnair on the Tallinn-Helsinki route.
Finland recently opened up its borders to air travel.
The other domestic route flying out of Tallinn goes to Kärdla, Hiiumaa.
As reported by ERR News, Irish carrier Ryanair is opening up routes to Stockholm Arlanda three times per week, and to Billund, Denmark twice a week, from November.
State-owned airline Nordica has not opened up any more direct routes to add to its Stockholm and Warsaw lines yet, however.
CEO Erki Urva said that he could not set a date on when they would be, adding that late summer was feasible, though planned destinations could not be named yet.
While leisure trips may recover their pre-pandemic volumes, the same is not likely for business flights, Urva went on, adding that 50 percent of 2019's volumes might be viable in the near future.
"We are so used to having meetings via MS Teams or over Zoom and other electronic channels," he said.
Eero Pärgmäe said that Brussels, Vilnius or Copenhagen might be suitable potential destinations for the aircraft Nordica operates – principally Bombardier CRJ700s.
Editor: Andrew Whyte